NOTE: Jeff and KC will be living blogging the game today starting at 3:00pm, feel free to comment at any point and we will respond!
The Teams: New England Patriots (7-5) At Seattle Seahawks (2-10)
The Terms: Regular Season Week 14
The Place: Qwest Field, Seattle, Washington
The Time: 4:05pm
The Channel: CBS
3 Burning Questions:
- What effect will Junior Seau and Roosevelt Colvin have on the game? Many feel Junior Seau is much like Ty Law as in he can step in day one and help the team. It’s unclear what his specific role is going to be as both Jerod Mayo and Tedy Bruschi have performed well this season and are not the glaring deficiencies in the defense. We could see Seau on the outside of the 3-4 formation blitzing off the edge to put pressure on Matt Hasselbeck (or looks more likely to be backup Seneca Wallace). Either way, both Colvin and Seau haven’t played a down of competitive football this year so it would be unfair to expect much out of either of them, though if my score prediction is correct they may have some garbage time to work the rust off. I, for one, am looking forward to a patented Seau tackle for loss and the concurrent celebration.
- Will Matt Cassel take advantage of a terrible pass defense? After two 400 yard passing games, Matt Cassel and the Patriots passing attack came back to Earth against the crazy good Steelers defense. This week is the opposite as the Seahawks come in with the absolute worst pass defense in league, allowing 265 yards a game (16 yards worse than then the 31st ranked team). Cassel should be able to throw all over the field to Randy Moss, Wes Welker and heck, maybe even Ben Watson (one can dream)!! The key for Cassel is to limit the turnovers and convert on third downs. Against the Steelers the Patriots converted just ONE solitary first down and that was because a penalty gave it to them. It would be encouraging to see the Patriots throw the ball down the field but I think offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels will want to play it safe as there should be room underneath to keep the chains moving. Look for the Patriots to come out in a no huddle on the first drive and try to punch one in quick.
- Is this a must win? Yes. No bones about it. With the Bills and Dolphins facing off in Toronto and the Jets playing the 49ers, there will be plenty of score board watching today. Patriots fans obviously need San Fran to take out the Mean Green, and a win by Buffalo wouldn’t hurt as it would worsen Miami’s division record. That all said, a loss today for the Patriots could be a nail in the coffin for the playoff push.
This game has the makings of both a blowout and a trap game. Seattle is terrible and most likely will be playing with a backup quarterback. The Seahawks have had extra rest to prepare for this game as they last played on Thanksgiving, albeit they got waxed by the Cowboys. The Patriots just need to keep things simple today: convert third downs, move the chains, win the turnover battle and limit the penalties. Cassel should get good protection in the pocket and will have every opportunity to make plays from the opening drive. Watch out for Randy Moss, I smell a couple of touchdowns for him today. Unless the Pats turn it over and Seattle jumps ahead, I don’t see this one being close heading into the fourth quarter.
Patriots 34, Seahawks 20
Tags: Jerod Mayo, Josh McDaniels, Junior Seau, Matt Cassel, Matt Hasselbeck, Randy Moss, Roosevelt Colvin, Seneca Wallace, Tedy Bruschi, Wes Welker